RICHMOND, Va. — On March 17, the State Veterinarian’s Office of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) confirmed one horse tested positive for Equine Herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1), the virus that causes Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy. The infected horse was at a boarding stable in Amelia County. The horse is receiving medical care and is stable. The boarding stable has been placed under quarantine. All exposed horses on the farm are being monitored twice daily for fever (temperature over 101.50 F) and other clinical signs. No additional Virginia horses have been exposed.
There is no cause for alarm concerning the general horse population in Virginia. EHV-1 is a virus that is present in the environment and found in most horses all over the world. Horses typically are exposed to the virus at a young age with no serious side effects. A large percent of horses carry the virus with no clinical signs for the remainder of their lives. Rarely, exposed horses develop the neurologic form of the disease. Horse owners with concerns should contact their veterinarian.
Visit the Equine Disease Communications Center website for more information on biosecurity and best practices for disease prevention in horses. VDACS has EHV-1 information online or horse owners may contact VDACS’ Office of Veterinary Services at 804.786.2483.
—Elaine Lidholm, VDACS